Lawsuit brings $289 million verdict against maker of Roundup weed killer

Enlarge / A weedkiller has gotten its manufacturer in very large legal troubles. (credit: Erich Ferdinand / Flickr)

On Friday, a California jury hit Monsanto with $289 million in damages in a lawsuit brought by a patient suffering from terminal cancer, accepting the plaintiff’s claims that his disease was caused by the company’s popular herbicide, Roundup. The suit neatly sidestepped the complicated epidemiology of the active ingredient in the herbicide—glyphosate—and instead made the claim that the cancer was the result of glyphosate’s interactions with other chemicals in Roundup—a claim for which there is even less evidence.

The suit is one of hundreds in progress and will almost certainly be appealed by Monsanto, which was recently purchased by chemical giant Bayer.

According to CNN, the suit was filed by a former groundskeeper for a school system near San Francisco named Dewayne Johnson. As part of his job, Johnson regularly

the popular herbicide and claimed that he suffered extensive exposure during two accidents within the past decade.

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